Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception since 2006, or earlater

Thursday, November 28, 2013

For the whole drunk family: GRABBERS

Ah laddies and lassies faire, are ye home this Thanksgiving? Will the family be looking to you to pick a film from the Netflix once all football and food is done and the wee ones and pious old folks safe in bed, and only the serious drinkers left coherent (read "serious" in that beautiful accent Claire Florani uses in those "All Hail the Drinkin' Man" commercials for Johnny Walker Black, the only reason to watch TV anymore - my praise here)?

Well, of course Netflix'sh got you covered.


GRABBERS 

(2012) Dir Jon Wright
***1/3

It's an Irish horror-monster-comedy hybrid that's part of the lineage of solid drinking films from the more remote and storm-swept parts of the UK, like LOCAL HERO, TIGHT LITTLE ISLAND, I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING, and MAN OF ARAN. Drunker family members might scoff during the first bits, but hush them and soon they'll be noting how gorgeous the emerald scenery and the leads most attractive. Ere long they'll be singing "Jug of Punch" and recalling aloud John Wayne in THE QUIET MAN and Gene Kelly in BRIGADOON with a merrye twinke in their eye. 

And there's a great hook: to avoid being eaten all the residents of this tight little island must drink, a lot. 
Dig that caption!
H.R. Giger-esque (but not too much) industrio-tentacledness
There's an adorable little lady ball-busting cop (Ruth Bradley), similar to how Holly Hunter used to be, pre-PIANO, but cuter even, and it's rewarding watching her character get drunk for the first time, like a little two-fisted Gallic faerie, falling for the drunken officer who decides to stay relatively sober just this once, even though it means having to stall the first kiss with this newly forged firebrand. Bradley makes the most of the chance to cut loose and is a wet-eyed mussy haired miracle in a big jeep stakeout, which is also craftily lit to make every rain drop in the deluge glisten with pregnant menace and/or romance. There's some taking time to capture lovely sunsets and the stark treeless beauty of the coastline, a few too many green and azure filters, overdoing it just a dram like we're watching the film through green sunglasses, but the whole third act is over one long night, filters gone, so 'tis no burden. And like all my favorite films, it ends at dawn.



AGE GROUPS: Unlike most monster films, the American ones for example, there's no guns on the island, it's Europe, after all, so when monsters come they have to improvise with various devices of a non-gunpowder-related nature. Violence is mostly of the squishing and severed head variety, nothing the hip kids haven't seen in frog-cutting class; there's nothing sexual or overly traumatic, and even old grandma can respect how, even under monster duress and whiskey inhibition lowering, the romance stays chastely Fordian. By the same token, fans of the Simon Pegg-Nick Frost films (such as SHAUN OF THE DEAD) shall know it by the same approximate seriocomic fan's eye view attention to squeam-and-squish minutiae. In sum, if your family's been known to have a wee dram, slither in. 

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